A Trip to the Windy City Part 3: Chicago Architecture

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One thing did result from the Great Chicago fire: it created a clean slate for the growth of a modern city with steel beamed buildings. The 1893 “White City” of the World Columbian Exposition is claimed by some to have led to a revival of Neo-Classical architecture in Chicago and the entire United States, and the 1909 “ Plan for Chicago” was the first comprehensive city plan in the U.S, and was in a Neo-Classical style. However, Chicago architects used many design styles and belonged to a variety of architectural schools, including the early Chicago style, Neoclassic, Craftsman Style, Prairie Style, Edwardian, Modern, Post-Modern – you can find whatever you are looking for. The architects include such famous men as Daniel Burnham, Mies Van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Wrigley building

Wrigley building

We started out walking along Michigan Avenue, admiring the Wrigley Building with its decorative elements. The building was designed using the shape of the tower of Seville’s Cathedral combined with French Renaissance details. Then we looked at the neo-Gothic Chicago Tribune building ,

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

which has blocks of stone from various famous places (the Pyramids, the Alamo, the Great Wall of China, the Parthenon) embedded in the walls and flying buttresses at the top.

Special blocks of stone in the wall of the Tribune building

Special blocks of stone in the wall of the Tribune building

We took a 90 minute architecture tour by boat on the Chicago River, which is definitely the way to see the city and the docents are very knowledgeable. Here are some pictures we took along the way to 20150524_133713 (2)give you a smattering of the variety and grandeur of the buildings.  Not to ignore the newest building: Trump Tower! 20150524_133606 (2)

Post- Modernist

Post- Modernist

On the Chicago RIver

On the Chicago RIver

Definitely post-Modernist

Definitely post-Modernist

Modernist style

Modernist style

Modernist building

Post-Modernist

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10 thoughts on “A Trip to the Windy City Part 3: Chicago Architecture

  1. I’ve only ever visited the Windy City on business and never with enough time to see anything except from cabs. This little taster makes me want to go and investigate.

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